We paid a visit to the Ledbury Hunt today, who met at the Robin Hood Inn, Castlemorton.

Shortly after 12 o’clock the hunt left the meet, with a large number of field and car followers in tow. Sabs announced our arrival by briefly taking the pack from the huntsman who had put them into a thicket in an attempt to put up a fox. After a quick spin in our vehicles to get ahead of them we came across them working through a wood and on our approach the huntsman took the hounds and shot off.

Sabs kept on the hunt and again caught up with huntsman, Mark Melladay, who had now changed from his redcoat into black in an attempt to avoid detection. Sabs stayed close as he encouraged the hounds through thick gorse on Castlemorton Common (a trail through there, really?!), before taking off with them at speed as they got on a scent and went into cry. We quickly caught up in our vehicles and followed the huntsman and hounds along the road, no longer in cry.

After some doubling back and forth, sabs located the huntsman off his horse with hounds in a wood, never a good sign. Sabs went in to investigate and when the huntsman realised he had company, left the wood with the hounds and headed back to his horse.

Upon reaching the edge of the wood it became clear what was going on, with a number of masked terrierboys hanging around a large badger sett where a fox had taken refuge. Being caught up to no good, they immediately tried to get sabs away from the area, launching an unprovoked attack on them. Undeterred, sabs carried on with the huntsman, with others checking back at the sett shortly afterwards and finding the terrierboys filling in holes they had been digging, before leaving the area.

For the rest of the day it was cat and mouse with the huntsman and hounds, who was never keen to stick around in any one place for long with sabs always on his tail. After a few attempts to lose us, it wasn’t long before he was again drawing through the gorse and scrub on the Common, using his voice to encourage hounds through and to put a fox up. Sabs stuck close by and after drawing a few blanks, the huntsman gathered the pack in fading light before heading back to box up.

All in all a good day! If the Ledbury Hunt and their terrierboys think violence will stop us from protecting hunted wildlife, they can think again! We’ll be seeing you…

~~Wardens from the Malvern Hills Conservators (the organisation which manages the Malvern Hills and the Commons around it) were also in the area today. This appeared to make the hunt less keen to spend time on the Common and hills as they did at this same meet last year, when they hunted a fox right up onto the hills.

Despite being in the area, none of the wardens were present when the dig out of the badger sett or attack on sabs took place, nor did they appear to intervene when the huntsman was blatantly drawing scrub on the common to put up a fox.

A facebook page has recently been set up to expose the Ledbury Hunts’ actions on the Malvern Hills and to encourage the Conservators to ban them from hunting on it.¬†https://www.facebook.com/Fox-hunt-off-Malvern-Hills-219215458521269/?fref=ts



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